Jennifer Camp, co-founder of Gather Ministries, and author of Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both Facebook and Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.
It takes courage to begin these days. Just this one.
We grow tired of reaching, over and over, to accomplish the next thing on the list to do. The momentum only builds when we pause, for then we grow scared and restless.
We hear the whisper, the hissing in our ear: keep going or you'll be sucked under.
And we acknowledge it and believe--filled with anxiety and fear for how we will find joy in this day.
Or we reject the lie full-on, and turn over the day to Him, He who knows all that we have to do--and what we don't.
But rejecting a whisper that feels so familiar, so true . . . I understand how it is easier to read these words on this screen here than actually stand with Him, with truth, and do it.
For it is no small challenge to even discern the whisper--the one that comes not from you but from the deepest pit of hell-- at all.
Because it feels so close.
Because it is familiar.
Because we let it convince us self-condemnation is something we deserve.
Because we are good at putting ourselves down and looking to ourselves to fix our perceived problems.
Because we find it easier to believe that we need to be more of something or less of something else to live with nothing separating us from the love of God.
Because the whispers tell us Romans 8:38-39 doesn't apply to someone like us:
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (NASB).
But God's truth is mightier than any doubt, His girls. He gives us faith. He gives us what we need to stand with Him, break strongholds of sin and claim His truth for us. Yes, His truth applies, to us.
And on days when the heaviness feels too much, when we are not sure how we can stand, let alone raise our head, ask Him to whisper truth--and to give you open ears and heart and head to hear it.
Paul shares with the church at Ephesus:
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out (Ephesians 6:13-18, MSG).
God's word in us, His heart giving us strength, our earnest prayers to a Father who hears us and who answers us . . . equip us with His truth to stand and be courageous and all that He has designed us to be: We are daughters who not only raise their heads against the whispers of lies, but battle fiercely, alongside their Father whom has already come to save.
And so, let's stand together, heads lifted, arms raised, hearts singing out prayers for one another. Let His truth fill us so that we overflow. And I pray He binds the enemy from us, that He hides us under His wings, that we rest together, courageous and strong--yes--but resting, too, in the truth that we are His, we are saved, we are precious to Him, and He teaches us the sound of His voice so that all whispers of the enemy are quieted, that we are deaf to them.
He searches our hearts and He gives us the chance to turn over our sins to Him. He cleanses us. We are made new. And we are strong here, our very weaknesses--our dependence on Him--our strength.
How, today, girls, can I pray for you?